Myanmar coup: At least 138 people killed since Feb 1, India tries to address the situation



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India's Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said the situation in Myanmar was "complex" and that India is working in the UN Security Council in a constructive manner to facilitate "balanced outcomes" that could assist in resolving the situation.


  At least 138 peaceful protesters, including women and children, have been killed in Myanmar since the violence that ensued after the military`s forceful takeover on February 1, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General on Monday (local time).

In a daily press briefing, Dujarric cited data from the UN Human Rights Office, which say that to date, at least 138 peaceful protestors have been killed in the violence since February 1, adding "This includes 38 people who were killed yesterday, the majority in the Hlaing Thayer area of Yangon, while 18 people were killed on Saturday." 

He said, "The Secretary-General strongly condemns this ongoing violence against peaceful protesters and the continuing violation of the most basic human rights of the people of Myanmar. The Secretary-General renews his call on the international community, including regional actors, to come together in solidarity with the people of Myanmar and their democratic aspirations." 

Dujarric further mentioned that a more formal statement is expected later regarding the matter. Yesterday, UN Secretary General`s Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener strongly condemned the bloodshed in Myanmar, amid increasing violence following the military`s crackdown on peaceful protests and its continued refusal to follow international calls for restraint, dialogue and full respect for human rights after the coup.

"The ongoing brutality, including against medical personnel and destruction of public infrastructure, severely undermines any prospects for peace and stability. The international community, including regional actors, must come together in solidarity with the people of Myanmar and their democratic aspirations," read the statement.

Meanwhile, Myanmar`s military has extended martial law to broader sections of Yangon after the deaths of several protesters in the city`s garment production hub, where several Chinese factories have suffered arson attacks, reported Nikkei Asia.

Initially announced in the Hlaingthaya and Shwepyitha districts of Yangon, new restrictions will also be imposed in North Dagon, North Okkalapa, South Dagon and Dagon Seikkan townships in the country`s largest city, according to state media.

At least 38 more people were killed on Sunday as security forces in Myanmar intensified their crackdown against anti-coup protesters to crush demonstrations calling for the reinstatement of the elected government.

Large numbers of protesters have taken to the streets of Myanmar since the military seized power in the February 1 coup, ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, despite the increasingly deadly posture taken by security forces to quell the wave of protests.

Despite increasing international pressure to restore the democratically-elected government, the Myanmar junta has ignored the condemnation and has continued to violently suppress the protests against its unlawful takeover of the country. Several ousted lawmakers have even designated the military as a terrorist organisation. 

India tries to facilitate, address the situation: Shringla 

India is in conversation with all concerned in Myanmar is trying to facilitate and address the situation, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Monday.

In an address at Ananta Aspen Centre, Shringla said the situation in Myanmar was "complex" and that India is working in the UN Security Council in a constructive manner to facilitate "balanced outcomes" that could assist in resolving the situation.

He said the gains made by Myanmar over the last decades on the path towards democracy should not be undermined and that India has always been steadfast in its support to the process of democratic transition in the country for it to emerge as a stable democratic federal union.

"We have had good links with all concerned in Myanmar to work with all sides which we are doing. We are in open conversation with all concerned in trying to facilitate and address the situation to the best of our ability," he said, adding "But we as a democracy and a neighbour of Myanmar have a slightly different take from those who might be looking at it from elsewhere. We are certainly conscious to do it in a manner that is keeping in mind the sensitivities concerned, keeping in mind the requirements." 

The foreign secretary said the imposition of sanctions against Myanmar could impact on food security or availability of goods as well as trigger inflation, adding that India has undertaken several humanitarian projects that are important for the people of Myanmar.


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